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Success and failures are part and parcel, be it in life, or business! Even well-established private companies are at constant risk of failure, as evident by some of the startups that went out of business recently.
Recently, Fietsuniek, a bicycle shop based out of the Netherlands, declared bankruptcy, mainly due to disagreement with its investor. In an interview with rtlz.nl, the young entrepreneur Edwin de Jong, said, “I almost gave my life to save the company, but it didn’t work.”
All you need to know about FietsUniek.nl
Inspired by the politician Rita Verdonk, Edwin de Jong at the age of 17, started his online bicycle shop FietsUniek.nl. Founded in 2010, FietsUniek proliferated gaining lots of accolades from various organisations. De Jong was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year by entrepreneurial magazine Sprout in 2013. Around 2015, he opened a state-of-art 1200 square meter experience center in Hillegom.
Coolblue of bikes!
In addition to FietsUniek.nl, De Jong also started a range of online stores including Omafiets.nl, Juniorfiets.nl, and EigenFiets.nl. Notably, all companies were bundled under the name Fietsgroep.
What went wrong?
According to De Jong, the partnership between him and the social investment platform Katapult, which had a majority stake at Fietsgroep went wrong. He further added, “I don’t want to hurt anyone, but afterwards, I chose the wrong investor. They tried to overgrow while I first want to earn a euro before I spend it. Turnover increased from 2.5 million to 20 million in four years is not realistic. That is how we came across each other. ”
Soon after, De Jong bought back the shares from Katapult. “That was precisely at a time when the company was going through a difficult period.”
De Jong further added, “We did break-even last year, while a loss was recorded the year before. So it went better, but it wasn’t enough.”
Company to restart?
Last week the bicycle company was declared bankrupt. However, around ten candidates have applied to restart FietsUniek to the curators. He said, “This shows that the company certainly has a right to exist. Thanks to our large store, we have become an important party in the region, with good name recognition and a large customer base. That is attractive for parties in the bicycle sector.”
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